Coronavirus India news summary: cases and deaths: 24 April

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Coronavirus live India: latest Covid-19 news - 24 April

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China coronavirus vaccine trial moves to phase 2

China's inactivated Covid-19 vaccine entered the second phase of clinical trial on Friday, Xinhua reports. An inactivated vaccine, sometimes called a killed vaccine, uses virus particles that have deteriorated and lost their ability to cause disease.

The vaccine is being developed by Wuhan Institute of Biological Products under the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and the Wuhan Institute of Virology under the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Clinical trials began on 12 April. 

In a statement, Sinopharm said that 96 patients, in three age groups, were given the vaccine on Thursday, April 23. The vaccine has not shown any side effects so far and volunteers taking part are still under observation. The second phase of clinical trial will focus on the vaccination procedure. The trial process is expected to last around a year.

China has approved three Covid-19 vaccine candidates for clinical trials - including an adenovirus vector vaccine prototype which has entered the second phase of clinical trial.

Experts recommend ignoring Trump’s suggestion to drink disinfectant products

Lysol and Dettol manufacturers are urging customers not to consume its cleaning products after President Trump suggested during a daily briefing.

Head of LaLiga Tebas on competition restart

'When LaLiga restarts, no player can refuse to play"

 

99-year-old Captain Tom tops UK music charts

The World War Two veteran on Friday was recognised as the oldest person to reach number one in Britain's main music charts through his appearance with singer Michael Ball on a cover of "You'll Never Walk Alone" - another fundraiser for the health service.

Guinness World Records said that title had been held by Welsh star Tom Jones, who was 68 when he sang on the charity single "Barry Islands in the Stream" in 2009.

Tom Moore, who turns 100 on April 30, said he felt honoured to receive the awards.

"My previous charity walk has raised more money than I could have possibly imagined and I am so thankful to those who have donated money and bought the single so we could achieve these records together and raise money for our incredible NHS during these difficult times."

Indians in the UK

This report looks into the ethnicity of those that appear to be most at risk from the coronavirus.

Baby girl dies

More tragic news from Kerala

'European origin, not China'

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Friday research showed that strains of the novel coronavirus first entered his state from Europe, not China, and that travel bans enacted by U.S. President Donald Trump were too late to halt its spread.

Cuomo pointed to researchers at Northeastern University who estimated that more than 10,000 New Yorkers may have contracted the disease by the time the state had its first confirmed case on 1 March. He said he believed Italy was the likely source. The governor noted that Trump ordered a ban on travel from China on February 2, more than a month after news reports had emerged about an outbreak in China, and decided to restrict travel from Europe the following month. By that time, the virus had spread widely in the United States, he said.

'We acted two months after the China outbreak. When you look back, does anyone think the virus was still in China waiting for us to act two months later?' Cuomo told a news briefing. 'The horse had already left the barn by the time we moved.'

Inside Morocco

A view on how the northern country is handling the current crisis.

US Covid-19 response chief's face as Trump suggests disinfectant cure

Dr Deborah Birx's face was a picture as US president Donald Trump suggested disinfectant injections and UV light as coronavirus cures:

Özil

I wouldn't take pay cut - Keane has sympathy for top footballers

Players at "really big", "really wealthy" clubs should not have to take pay cuts, says former Manchester United and Ireland captain Roy Keane, after Mesut Özil was among three players who reportedly refused a 12.5% salary drop at Arsenal.

You'll find the full story on that here.

Death of female tiger coronavirus-related?

Coronavirus tests are being run on a female tiger who died in Delhi Zoo on Wednesday.

Earlier in April, a tiger at New York’s Bronx Zoo tested positive for Covid-19.

India lockdown has prevented "US or Europe-like" situation

Dr Arvind Kumar of the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi says the lockdown introduced by the Indian government at the end of March has helped to avoid a “US or Europe-like” situation in the country.

Quoted in the Times of India, Kumar says: “Lifting the lockdown should be very gradual. Some facilities should remain closed through the month of May like schools, colleges, malls, cinema halls, religious places and markets.

"Certain sectors feeling the pinch should open but only in green zones, while red and orange zones should continue in lockdown.”

Red zones are coronavirus infection hotspots, while orange indicates some infection and green represents areas with no infections.

Do I need to wash, disinfect food and packaging?

There is a low risk of being infected by handling food or packaging, but authorities nevertheless urge extreme caution when it comes to hygiene.

Full story:

Australian medical chief struggles to hide mirth at Trump’s disinfectant suggestion 

At his daily press briefing on Thursday, US president Donald Trump raised eyebrows by suggesting that injecting people with disinfectant could cure the coronavirus, saying the idea “sounds interesting to me”.

Trump also proposed that Covid-19 sufferers could be treated with ultra-violet light.

The American president's comments brought about this response from an evidently incredulous Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer:

India's lower death rate defies coronavirus trend

Parts of India have recorded dramatic falls in mortality rates after a nationwide lockdown was imposed to fight the new coronavirus, suggesting there has not been an undetected surge in virus-related deaths.

All over the world, mortality rates are being scrutinised to determine the true impact of the coronavirus, which emerged in China late last year and is known to have infected more than 2.7 million people globally, with nearly 190,000 deaths.

While death rates in some countries have risen sharply in recent weeks, in India the opposite seems to be happening, at least in some places, leaving hospitals, funeral parlours and cremation sites wondering what is going on.

"It's very surprising for us," said Shruthi Reddy, chief executive officer of Anthyesti Funeral Services, which operates in the eastern city of Kolkata and the southern tech hub of Bengaluru.

The company handled about five jobs a day in January but has only had about three a day this month. "We've declared employee pay cuts if revenue falls below a threshold," Reddy said.

Other numbers tell a similar story. Central Mumbai, home to some 12 million people, saw deaths fall by about 21% in March compared with the same month of 2019, according to municipal data.

Overall deaths plummeted 67% in Ahmedabad, the biggest city in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat, over  the same period.

Data from at least two other cities, along with accounts from state health officials, show a similar pattern. Half a dozen funeral businesses and crematoriums also reported slumps in business, especially in April.

"If we're not seeing an increase in deaths, the suspicion that there may be more Covid-19 fatalities out there is not true," said Giridhar Babu, professor of epidemiology at the Public Health Foundation of India.

Modi imposed a lockdown of India's 1.3 billion people on 25 March in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected some 23,077 people, killing 718 of them, according to the latest figures.

India has tested about 525,000 people, meaning some 4% were positive. In the United Sates, about 18% of tests are positive, according to the Covid Tracking project.

(Reuters)

Survey reveals overwhelming support for Modi over his handling of the coronavirus...

One of the positive outcomes of the coronavirus lockdown in India...

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In pictures: A doctor takes a sample from woman for a RT-PCR COVID-19 test during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Amritsar on April 23, 2020. (Photo by NARINDER NANU / AFP)

The government has stated that it expects will around 20 more flights full of medical supplies from China in the coming days..

Singapore PM assures Modi Indian migrants will be looked after

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Indian migrants in Singapore will be looked after just as well as other Singaporeans during the coronavirus pandemic.

"I assured him (Modi) that we will care for Indian migrant workers here, just as we care for Singaporeans. The migrant workers made personal sacrifices to come to work here. They have made many contributions to Singapore, so we have a responsibility for them," said Lee.

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